Teach your dog tricks: Cool tricks you can easily teach your dog.
Ever wanted to teach your dog tricks but thought it was too difficult? Then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that it’s actually much easier than it looks.All it takes is a willing canine companion and because dogs love to learn, that will never be a problem.
On this page, I’m going to show you how to teach your dog tricks. These are the basics, but you can then take it from there and expand your repertoire.Most of the Hollywood dog tricks you’ve seen are simply a variation on these few fundamentals.
But let’s keep things in perspective. Obedience training comes first. So be sure that your dog has mastered obedience commands like “sit”, “stay”, “lie down”, and “come to me”, before starting to teach your dog tricks.Here are some other things to keep in mind as you turn your dog into the next Lassie.
- All dogs are different. Find out what works for your dog. What treats will really motivate him? How long can he stay focused? Adjust your training method according to what works for the dog.
- Start simple and work from there. You can teach your dog tricks that will amaze you if you build up a trick piece by piece.
- Be consistent and provide instant feedback when the dog gets it right. This makes sure that he associates the reward with the action and he will be encouraged to repeat it.
- Make sure your dog is receptive to training. For example trying to teach your dog tricks straight after he’s eaten is generally a bad idea. He’ll be lethargic and the treats won’t provide any great motivation.
Also, don’t try to teach your dog tricks when he is full of energy. You are better off when he is calm and relaxed.
- Get the dog to perform the behavior first, before attaching a voice cue to it. Think about it, telling a dog to “sit” when he hasn’t yet learned the command will be meaningless.
- Dogs love learning and will learn at any age. Never assume that it is too late or too soon to teach your dog tricks.
- Once your dog learns a trick, train him to perform it in as many different places as possible. Otherwise, he will associate the trick with the location where he learned it.
Ready to teach your dog tricks?
Here are some cool dog tricks to teach your dog. Although these seem pretty basic, most of what you see in movies are simply variations of these;
Dog Trick 1: Wave
- Give your dog the ‘sit’ command.
- Kneel in front of the dog facing him.
- Give his paw a gentle upward nudge, and as soon as he lifts the paw off the ground say “wave” and give him a treat.
- Repeat several times until he understands that he has to lift his paw in order to get a reward.
- As he begins to understand the command, wait for him to lift the paw higher before giving the treat.
- Keep repeating until he raises the paw when you give the voice command, “wave”.
- Give the command from further away and start phasing out the treat, replacing it with praise every time he gets it right.
Dog Trick 2: Take a Bow
- Begin with the dog in a standing position.
- Kneel in front of the dog.
- Hold a treat in your hand and slide both hands forward towards the dog’s front paws.
- The dog should extend his head down for the treat. When he does, say “bow”, and reward him immediately.
- As he learns the trick, stop using the treat to make him ‘bow’, but reward and/or praise him when he does it on command.
Dog Trick 3: Crawl
- With the dog in a down position, hold the treat in your right hand while placing your left hand on the dog’s back.
- Draw the dog’s attention to the treat while holding him low to the ground with your hand on his back.
- As he starts to move forward say “crawl”, then immediately give him the treat.
- Initially, reward any forward movement, then require him to “crawl” further before giving the treat.
Dog Trick 4: Cover your eyes
- The idea with this trick is to get the dog to cover his eyes with one paw.
- The dog should be in the down position, blow gently on his nose, making him “wipe” at his face.
- As soon as he does this, say “cover your eyes” and give a reward.
- Keep repeating until the dog realizes what he must do to earn the reward.
Dog Trick 5: Speak
- This trick gets your dog to bark on a verbal and/or visual cue.
- First decide on a hand signal, for example bringing your thumb and fingers together in a “speaking” motion is one way.
- Give the command “speak” together with the hand signal.
- When the dog barks praise him and a give a food reward.
- If your dog doesn’t bark, keep repeating the command. The dog will eventually become confused as to what you want and that will make him bark.
- When he does, immediately give a reward.
Dog Trick 6: Play Dead
- The objective of this cute little trick is for the dog to roll over and play dead on the command “Bang!”.
- Start with the dog in a sitting or standing position.
- Point your finger and pull your hand up in a “gun firing” motion. This action is similar to the “down” hand signal, so if your dog has been trained in that command it should be easy to train him to lie down.
- Once he lies down to give him the reward.
- The next part involves rolling onto his side. You may have to train this separately, by first giving a gentle push to get him onto his side.
- Now get him to complete the whole trick – lie down, roll over, lie still before giving the reward.
- Once he understands the required action, introduce the word command “Bang!”, as you make the “gun firing” hand signal.
Remember it takes patience and persistence to teach your dog tricks, so stick with it and you’ll reap the rewards.